historical £s>feetcfj of Cijurci) of &t. 3 ol)n, ComtoaUtsi, Jl &::;. 1760—^^—1910 Macnab Print, Halifax. Right Rev. Clare L. Worrell, Bishop of Nova Scotia. "prefatory 3tote. ^V%E beg to acknowledge our indebtedness for the in- *fctj formation given in this Historical Sketch to the old ^^^ Minute Book of the Parish (which is still in use) , to an article in Church Work from the pen of the Rev. J. W. Rhodes, to R. W. Starr, Esq., of Wolfville, and to Mrs. S. Gilliatt, daughter of the late Charles Starr. (Mrs. Gilliatt died in February, 1910, at the age of 92 years). RECTORS. Rev. Joseph Bennett 1761—1775 Rev. William Ellis 1775—1 779 Rev. Jacob Bailey • 1779—1 782 Rev. John Wiswall 1782 — 17cS9 Rev. William Twining 1789—1806 Rev. Robert Norris 1806—1829 Rev. J. M. Campbell 1829—1835 Rev. J. S. Clarke 1835—1841 Rev. John Storrs 1841—1876 Rev. R. F. Brine locum tenens 1872—1876 Rev. Hy. Sterns Rev. Richmond Shreve 1876—1879 Rev. F. J. H. Axford 1879—1903 Rev. T. C. Mellor 1903— CHURCH WARDENS. John Burbidge 1784—1802 Benjamin Belcher . 1784—1802 William Campbell 1802—1822 Jonathan Shearman 1802 — 1810 James Allison 1810—1850 Charles R. Prescott 1822—1826 Luther Hatheway 1826—1830 Charles Starr 1830—1835 William Terry 1835—1836 Richard Starr 1836—1872 George A. Allison 1850—1867 J. T. Newcomb 1867—1872 R. W. Starr 1872—1879 James A. Lockwood 1872—1875 George S. Lockwood 1875—1879 William Smith 1879—1890 Henry Zinck 1879—1888 Samuel Boak 1888—1890 3 Joseph Starr 1890—1892 Lewis I. Donaldson 1890—1892 John Donaldson 1892—1895 William Smith 1892—1895 Dr. W. V. Fullerton 1895—1898 I. R. Forbes 1895—1900 William Cox 1S98— 1900 Dr. \Y. V. Fullerton 1900—1901 I. R. Starr 1900—1908 II. Brown 1901—1908 John Donaldson 1908—1909 II. K. Lea 1908—1910 L. E. Healy 1909—1910 I. R. Starr 1910 — David Sutton 1910 — MEMBERS OF CORPORATION IN CENTENIAL YEAR. Rector— Rev. T. C. Mellor, M. A. Church Wardens — J. R. Starr. D. Sutton. Vestry — W. Smith, J. P. J. Donaldson, B. A. Capt. Haliburton. A. C. Starr. H. K. Lea. H. Brown. C. Cox. W. Sutton, Jr. X. Fosbery. L. E. Healy. E. P. Armstrong. Hy. Robinson. Vestry Clerk — H. Brown. BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PARISH OF CORNWALLIS IN THE DIOCESE OF NOVA SCOTIA. ■^OR five years after the deportation of the Acadians in 1755, the land lay desolate. The tides ebbed mi* and flowed, the mists rolled up from the Bay of Fundy and piled themselves in thick fleecy masses along the ridge of the North Mountain, enshrouding Blomidon as in a winding sheet, the dykes and marshes slowly faded to sombre brown, and snowclad and ice bound lay dreary, and wind swept under the cold winter sun, and then awaking from their winter thraldom flushed again with the emerald tints of spring. Season succeed- ed season in the undeviating course of nature but the fair Acadian land, favoured by nature and blessed by the diligent toil of man, remained idle and fallow. Then in 1760, the second European settlement of the district took place. Into this goodly land came settlers from the British colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, who like the Israelites of old entered into posses- sion of a country already prepared into "wells which they digged not" and fields which they planted not; and great far spreading sea meadows, which other hands had fenced in from the hungry tides. In the previous year, however, Major Samuel Starr, the progenitor of the numerous Starr family who now in the sixth generation occupy the original grant, had surveyed the country, and on his report a company in the American colonies had decided to take up 100,000 acres. Two other town- ships, each of the same size, and named respectively Aylesford and Horton, were at the same time set off and settled and combined in King's County. In each of these townships the customary grants were made for a church and school. In the case of Cornwallis, the grant embraced a large quantity of valuable dyke land, a considerable p3rtion of which remains in possession of the parish. For the first ten years alter the English resettlement of this beautiful and romantic region, the settlers appear to have been dependent upon the occasional ministration of Rev. Dr. Breynton o( St. Paul's, Halifax, and Rev. Joseph Bennett, S. P. G., Missionary. There being no place of worship, services were held in the most conven- ient houses and barns. Not much was done in church matters until the advent of John Burbidge, who came from Halifax in L762. He was an Englishman, had been in the Army, but was then in business. He was a mem- ber of the fust House of Assembly in L758, then again in 1759 and in 1760 made an Audit Report to the Govern- ment on the Provincial Revenue and Expenditure. In 1765 he was elected to the House by the Township of Cornwallis and was made a Colonel of the Militia. Through his influence, two of his friends, William Best and Benja- min Beleher of Halifax, came and settled in Cornwallis, William Best was also a member of the first House of Assembly in 1 758 and again in 1 705, for the city of Halifax. John Burbidge, William Best, Samuel Starr, David Starr, George Jackson, Henry Potter, and others in the vicinity of Town Plot were the first to attempt the organ- ization of the parish. John Burbidge gave an acre of land on the spot now known as Fox Hill, then he and Mr. Best erected a small church of small dimensions and plain appearance, at their own expense. This church, which was situated about a mile from the present edifice, was never consecrated. The foundation of this church is still visible, and also several tombstones, mostly bearing dates in the 18th century. The desire of these good peo- ple was that they might have a building "for the more decent and convenient performance of divine service, and the celebration of the Holy Sacraments." This church was in charge of Rev. W. Ellis, whose headquarters were at Windsor. He was followed by the Rev. Jacob pailey for three years. In 1782 the Rev. John Wiswall, another S. P. G. Missionary, took charge of the Parish, and in the following year began the erection of a parsonage on glebe property, and organizing the church by appointing church wardens and vestrymen. 6 The names of the first church corporation in the parish of Cornwallis are; — Churchwardens. — John Burbidge, and Benj. Belcher. Vestry; — Capt. John Terry, Capt. Thomas Farrel, Lieut. H. Burbidge, Major Samuel Starr, David Starr, Joseph Jackson, John Robinson, Jr., Capt. Thomas Ratchford, Capt. John Cox, Cornelius Fox, John Burbidge, Jr., and Capt. Ebenezer Farnam. Other names which appear in the early history of the parish, and which still exist in the province are; — Thomas Brown, W. A. Chipman, Joseph Sibley, William Morine, Penderman Allison, Elkanah Morton, William Baxter, Dan Pineo, John North, John Huston, Mason, Cogswell, Prescott and Bardaine, Gesner, Moore, Webster, &c, &c. The parsonage cost about £310. This was subscribed by the parishioners. In 1784 a Mandate was issued by the Governor for the induction of the Rev. John Wiswall. The document ran in the name of "His Excellency John Parr, Captain Gen- eral and Governor-in-Chief in and over His Majesty's province of Nova Scotia and its Dependencies, Vice-Ad- miral of the same," &c, &c, and was as follows; — "To John Burbidge, Esq., and Mr. Benjamin Belcher, Greeting. By virtue of the power and authority vested in me by His Majesty's Royal Commission, and Instructions, for collating to, and inducting or causing to be inducted into any benefice or church within this province, every such clergyman as shall be qualified according to said instruc- tions, and the Reverend John Wiswall, A. M., appearing to me duly qualified, I do therefore, hereby, collate the said John Wiswall, Rector to the Benefice of St. John, in the town of Cornwallis, and I do hereby command you the said John Burbidge and Benjamin Belcher to induct the said John Wiswall into the Real, Actual and Corporal Possession of the said church, with all its rights, profits, and appurtenances thereto belonging, in the usual form and manner, and you are to certify this induction on the back of this mandate and return the said mandate into the secretary's office on or before the 12th day of Febru- ary, 1784. Given under my hand and seal at Halifax, this twenty- ninth day oi December, 1783, in the twenty fourth year of His Majesty's Reign, (Signed) John Park. An extensive history of the life and ministry of the Rev. John Wiswall, was wait ten and read before the Ilis- torieal Society of Nova Scotia, by the Rev. Dr. Saunders of Halifax. In 1789 on the resignation of Mr. Wiswall, who was a refugee from the revolted colonies, and a great sufferer, and his removal to Wilmot and Granville, the Rev. William Twining was elected Rector, on Michael- mas Day, 1802 (the annual meetings of the parish were in the early days always held on Michaelmas Day, Sept. 29th, changed in 1S14), a meeting was held to arrange for the building of a new church and the selection of a new site. The site chosen was on the Glebe Farm. Cash, materials and labour were subscribed. In KS04 the frame of the present church was raised by a large gather- ing of men from all parts of the township, many women also attending, furnishing refreshments for the workers. The frame was covered and the roof shingled that year, but the square tower was left open, and the steeple was built inside with the posts of the octagon resting on the floor. This occupied several years as these were evi- dently easy going days. When the spire was ready to be put in place, 5th December, 1808, taking advantage of several large Brigs of West India trade being in port (the Port at that time, was at Town Plot), their hoisting gear and some of their crews were borrowed, and another gathering of the men, of the parish, hoisted the steeple into its place and firmly secured it. Want of funds de- layed the work on the inside of the church, and it was not all finished until 1812, but the church was formally opened for Divine Service on Christmas Day, 1810. In 1826 the church and graveyard were consecrated by Bishop John Inglis. This church, which is still used, cost over $10,000, of which the respectable sum of about $7,000 was subscribed, the balance being made up by an S. P. G. grant. Rev. T. C. Mellor, Rector St. John's Ci urc. 9 At the Annual Meeting of L802 Colonel Burbidge retired from the office of churchwarden at the age of 86, much to the regret of the members. He had subscribed .6100 to the building of the new church, and £50 more if they erected a spire according to his plans. In a very pathetic letter almost at the clo.se of his life he says "I proposed that if the wardens would open a second subscription and get £200 subscribed, I would add £50 to it, provided the steeple was framed agreeable to my plan. I now make this memorandum as I am a very old man and may die sudden- ly, and should that be the case, I request my executors to comply with this my request." The following publication, extracted from the first paper printed at Halifax, after Colonel Burbidge's death, delin- eated his character. "Died, At Cornwallis, on the 1 1 th inst., (March 1812) John Burbidge, Esquire, in the 95th year of his age. A man that was revered and beloved by all that knew him, for his piety, interest and benevolence. He re- tained to the last a sound understanding, and was waiting with cheerful resignation for the moment of his departure from this world. Suitable to an uniform life of piety and virtue was the manner of his death. He retired to bed in the evening free from pain, and during the night the ser- vant of God fell asleep in the Lord." During the earlier part of the 19th Century, viz: — during the years the church was being erected, Divine Service was held in the houses of Col. Burbidge, William Campbell, James Allison, Joseph Lingley, and "occasionally, though rarely," at the houses of other parishioners. A few ser- vices appear to have been held in the old church at Fox Hill, especially in the winter months, and in the summer months some services were held in the new church, though not completed. On Christmas Day 1810 the new Church was opened for service, and was attended by a large con- course of people. In 1813, the old Church on Fox Hill was put up for sale, and the acre of ground, given by Col. Burbidge for the pur- poses of a graveyard, was ordered to be fenced. Many of the old Church families are interred in this cemetery, most of them in the North West corner of the lot. That part 10 of it, and where the Church once stood was consecrated by the second Bishop Inglis during the incumbency of Rev. J. Storrs. Further than that he could not go as the Deed of Gift opened it to the public for interment. The old Church was sold at auction in 1814, and was bought by Elisha Eaton for ^14-5s.-0. Tradition has handed down the information that the Church was bought afterwards by Col. Campbell and brought down to Church Street, to be used as a barn, and was placed in a corner of his lot opposite his residence now the home of Mrs. Hy. Newcomb. It is interesting to note that Mr. Fox, whose name ap- pears frequently in the record of the parish, was a dis- charged seaman, and opened a school on Fox Hill. This school appears as under the auspices and direction of the Colonial and Continental Church Society, who paid him a yearly salary. Over the school was a room in which the A. F. and A. Masons held their meetings. Mr. Fox was married twice, and was the grandfather of Mr. Hy. Cong- don, of Port Williams. The Rev. Robert Norris, at one time a priest of the Ro- man Church, succeeded Rev. William Twining in 1806. He was followed by the Rev. John Moore Campbell who held the parish until 1835, removing to Granville Ferry where he died. In 1835 Rev. John S. Clark, a graduate of King's College, was appointed by the S. P. G. Six years later Rev. John Storrs, still affectionately remembered in the parish of Cornwallis and in Horton parish by the older members, received the appointment of Rector. Mr. Storrs, after a rectorate of thirty-five years, retired to England where he died in 1880. He was followed by the Rev. Rich- mond Shreve, a graduate of King's College, a man of ex- ceptional ability. Dr. Shreve (he was given the degree of D. D. by his alma mater) is now rector of Sherbrooke, in the Province of Quebec. In 1880 the Rev. F. J. H. Axford formerly incumbent of Liscombe under the C. and C. C. S., and later at Londonderry Mines, was appointed and re- mained Rector until 1903. Mr. Axford accomplished much work, visiting the whole parish and gathering to- gether the scattered ones of his flock. He organized a Con- 11 gregation at Kingsport, where he had as a faithful coad- jutor, Mr. Kphiaim Hilt/, who still resides there and con- tinues his interest and faithfulness in all that concerns the church. In 1903 the Rev. T. C. Mellor, the present Rector, was elected. The parish of Cornwallis embraces one of the most beau- tiful and attractive districts in the Dominion. Rich in his- toric associations as the ancient home of the Acadian race, and the scene of many stirring incidents during the Revol- utionary war and that of 1<S1 2- 14, it may be called a classic region. This parish and that of Horton have been made famous by Longfellow in "Evangeline." Combined with this is its charming scenery, of mountain ' 'field and flood,' ' and the more substantial advantages of its magnificent apple orchards and rich dykelands. Taking it altogether the district is probably unsurpassed in the Dominion in all round attractiveness. Besides the parish Church of St. John, there are two out-stations. One at Canning, a beautiful and enterprising village on the old Habitant River, and dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels conse- crated in 1905, and the other at Kingsport where is to be found a pretty Mission Church dedicated to St. Thomas, and was consecrated in 1906. This church is being served at the present time by Rev. R. Johnson, who for very many years held the parish of Liscombe, and for ten years at Xew Germany. ® NOTES OF INTEREST. HE first interment in the new churchyard was that of Benjamin Jarvis in January 2, 1812. In 1S08, the sum of ^500 was given to the parish to- wards the erection of a church by his Excellency the Gov- ernor, Sir G. Prevost, from monies granted by His Majesty the King for the erection of churches. In 1813 there was at the East end of the church three tablets containing the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments. These tablets were pre- 12 sented by Benjamin Belcher, Esq., who also bequeathed ;£200 to the church. At the parish meeting held that year it was ordered that the "mouldings round the tablets to be gilt, and the vacancy on the Table of the Lord's Prayer to be filled up with a pair of Olive Branches." These Tablets were renovated in the year 1904 at the ex- pense of Mrs. R. W. Starr, a grand-daughter of Mr. Bel- cher. A Bell was presented to the Church in 1906 by Mrs. J. Walter Allison of Dartmouth, a grand-daughter of Charles Ramage Prescott a member of parliament, and a pioneer fruit-grower in this valley. The bell has excellent sound- ing quality, and bears an inscription recording the pre- sentation. A pulpit of solid mahogany was presented to the church in 1909 by Robert Storrs, Esq., of Wolfville, in memory of his father, the Rev. John Storrs, for 35 years Rector of this parish. The pulpit was formerly used in Trinity Church, Halifax. A beautiful and chaste set of red Altar Cloths and Hangings for Lectern and Pulpit was presented by Mrs. Amberman, while in Japan, in 1908. The four presentations, above recorded, appear to be the only ones the church has received in all its eventful life. The church of St. John, and the graveyard (the Eastern portion,) were consecrated by Bishop Inglis on August 9th, 1826. The western portion of the churchyard, was set apart for burial purposes, and consecrated in 1908, by' the Bishop of N. S. (Right Rev. C. L. Worrell.) A circumstance, worthy of note, is to be found in the presence at both consecrations of Mrs. Abram Newcombe, 13 who is still living, Mrs. Newcombe was born in 1812 and is thus in the 99th year of her age. At the Easter meeting of 1852 it was resolved that the clergyman's toll over the Cornwallis Bridge of ten shillings be paid. It does not appear what became of the old Rectory, but in IS 14 after much correspondence with the Bishop, who informed the congregation that the S. P. G. made their grants on the condition that a parsonage was provided, a Rectory was built during the incumbency of the Rev. J. Storrs. This Rectory was burnt down in 1881, and the present Rectory erected in 1882. A Victorian Organ — a two manual reed organ, — is the gift of the Reverend Prebendary John Storrs, M. A., Rector of St. Peter's Church. Eaton Square, London, England. An Oak Eagle Lectern is the gift of J. Walter Allison, Esq., of Halifax. A Prayer Desk and Seat, is the gift of Miss H. Gesner of New York. The Church has been renovated. The ceiling has been blocked and sheathed. A hard-wood floor has been laid in the Chancel, and wainscotting in harmony with the Church has been placed on the walls of the Chancel. As a thank offering to Almighty God for His goodness and mercy in giving us such a glorious heritage, and en- abling us to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the found- ing of the parish and the 100th anniversary of the opening of the present church, this Booklet is written that it might prove an incentive to much prayer and good works by those of us who have entered into the labors of those who did so much for the upbuilding of the parish in its earlier ays. 14 The scheme for celebrating these anniversaries embraces the erection of a Parish Hall which is much needed at the present time to cope with our present activities, also in- stalling of a furnace, and the purchase of an organ. Let us all work together for these objects zealously, harmoniously and liberally, and above all let us be known as a congregation of faithful people, doing our utmost by prayer and supplication to God for the honor of His church and the extension of the Kingdom of His dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. & ST. JOHN'S SUNDAY SCHOOL. EVER in the history of the parish has the Sunday School been so numerically strong, or so efficiently carried on as at the present. There are now several departments, all of which are enthusiastically worked by zealous and painstaking teachers. The Primary Class is conducted by Mrs. Mellor, assisted by Miss Mellor. The Junior Department by Miss H. S. Smith. The Intermediate Classes by Miss Healy (boys), and Miss Cox (girls). The Teacher Training Class by Mrs. W. Y. Robinson, and the Adult Bible Class by John Donaldson, Esq. There is also a Home Department. Supt, Miss Smith. Visitors, Miss Smith, Mrs. D. Sutton and the Rector. The Superintendent of the Sunday School is Mr. Don- aldson. The Sunday School has reached such numbers, and the present up-to-date methods have such demands that it has been found necessary to seek modern methods for carrying on the work by having separate rooms for the classes. Number in S. School 49 Number in Adult Bible Class 43 Number in Home Department 20 Total 112 There is also a Sunday School at Kingsport, conducted by Mrs. and Miss Johnson, and an auxiliary Sunday School at Chipman's Corner, conducted by Miss Chip- man, M. A. GUILD OF ST. JOHN. z^p^IIlv Guild of St. John is a useful organization for the 1IL mutual edification of all who are connected with ^^ it, and has for its object, the intellectual and moral welfare of the members. The meetings are held in the winter months, and this supplies a means of entertain ment to brighten and sharpen the life. The present officers are: — President The Rector. Vice-President H. K. Lea, Esq. Seen tary Miss Mellor. Treasurer John Donaldson, Esq. Executivt Committee Mrs. Mellor. Mrs. S. Kidston. Mrs. J. Donaldson. Mr. C. Cox. Mr. J. T. Healy. Parish Reporter Miss L. A. Healy. WOMEN'S AUXILIARY TO THE M. S. C. C. Senior Branch. Hon. President Mrs. Mellor. President Mrs. Cox. Vice-Presidents Mrs. Kidston. Mrs. Halliburton. Recording Secretary Mrs. Brown. Corresponding Secretary Mrs. J. R. Starr. Dorcas Secretary Miss Rowe Treasurer . . . Mrs. J. Donaldson. Mrs. W. Y. Fullerton. Mrs. Meister. Junior Branch. Superintendent Mrs. W. Y. Robinson. Assistant Miss Smith. S< cretary Miss M. Chase. Treasurer Miss L. Kidston. Members — Sr. 32 Jr. ^7 Total 49 16 MITE SOCIETY. /^|^HE Mite Society of St. John's Church has proved Illy of great value for many years in raising by "mites" ^^ money to be spent on the interior of the Church. It is demonstrated what can be done by the collection of mites, which no one misses. Supt. and Treas., Miss Smith. Collectors change frequently, giving every one an inter- est in the work. THE STORR'S CLUB OF ST. JOHN'S. /^f HIS Club is named after the Rev. J. Storrs, a former 1|L Rector of the parish, and is composed of the Junior ^^ boys of the parish, all of whom are members of Miss Healy's class in the Sunday School. In addition to outdoor recreation and the development of the moral and intellectual parts of their nature there is also a pledge to prepare lessons for Sunday School. The upbuilding of the spiritual life is the primary object. The officers are: — ■ President .George McConichy. Captain Grant McGhee. Secretary (pro tern) Miss Healy. Treasurer . Fred Morine. Right Reverend Hibbert Binney, D. D., Fourth Bishop of Nova Scotia. •>K- ,^^%£i£-3 St. John's Church, Cornwallis, Nova Scotia.